Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Do People Really Like Innovation?

Digital is the age of pervasive innovation, from communication, culture to product and service.

Innovation is the light every forward-thinking organization is pursuing. Businesses like to claim they are progressive and creative, yet the volatility that comes with genuine creativity is perceived as being 'unpredictable' and therefore - unsafe. Innovation is a type of change, do people really like innovation or not?

There is innovation frictionOnce people get into a routine at work, they typically do not like to hear about how things could be done differently to make the work more productive, fun, effective, error-free etc. Change in a work environment is hard. And, even if there is a real mandate for change and everyone agrees a change is needed, most people at most of the time want to find something quickly: "low-hanging fruit" or "quick wins" rather than something more radical.

The small dose of innovation is more welcomedCreative enough to claim novelty, conservative enough to make sales...people like creativity - but most people only like it in small doses and at prearranged times and places. For instance, people like a well-told story in the form of a movie but vary in terms of how to predict the end of story. People have difficulties in understanding the amount of uncertainty and vagueness they can handle. Creativity is appreciated, but on a small scale, whereas the world calls for big scale innovations.

People consciously or subconsciously protect their status quoTo be truly creative means challenging norms values and beliefs. It is likely that if you are creative, you will challenge the status quo as you push the parameters of the excepted norms of life. This does have the effect of upsetting some people for whom the status provides a safe construct. If the system is working for them then it should be working for everyone. Do they challenge the system? Why should they if it is working for them? It’s not like that people don’t like creative people, but rather that people don’t like to be challenged.

The intimidation of the “otherness.” Whilst many people had their own status quo smashed by the life invents and survived by redefining values and beliefs. Others cling to the status quo and blame those who challenge it for creating the problems, rather than being simply the ones who point them out. Some of us are born marked as others, either by race, gender, culture, or status etc. The idea of otherness is crucial to understanding why people seem to not like creative people and mistrust creativity. People feel threatened by others because the qualities and opinions of others challenge them. People don’t like creativity, due to fear of the otherness and of a challenge. They do like some creativity which reassures what, they feel is true but mistrust what they don’t understand. However, digital breaks down such silo mentality, inclusiveness, and the cognitive difference are at the core of innovation.

People generally like creativity, but don't want ideas imposed upon them. Innovation nowadays more often are driven by pulling power of people, process, and technology, to not only make progressive or breakthrough products or services but also enforcing creative communication and culture. No matter you like it or not, digital is the age of pervasive innovation.


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